I have had busy few days, and haven’t had the time to post as I’ve wanted to! I’ve really been trying to write around 2x a week, maybe more if my schedule allows, so thanks for continuing to read and check in
I traveled to Chicago for work for about 36 hours on Sunday and Monday. As you can imagine, it was a bit of a whirlwind trip. I also didn’t take any pictures, but the view from my hotel room was pretty much just like this:
Quick trips like that often throw me for a loop as I don’t really get to settle into a routine or plan things out as I’d like. I thought it would be helpful to share some tips for keeping your healthy routine while traveling- I’m certainly not an expert but hope I can share with you!
- Plan, if you can. I knew I wouldn’t have much down time this trip, so I scheduled two rest days into my schedule for Sunday and Monday. It meant putting in a few extra miles last week in preparation, but your schedule doesn’t need to be too disrupted with some pre-planning.
- But remain flexible! I am a planner, as I just mentioned, but I am also trying to remain more flexible. It’s just as important to remember that squeezing in 3 miles instead of a planned 8 miler is better than nothing! Do what you can, with what you have.
- Use your free time wisely. I had 25 minutes before a client dinner to spare- I knew I wouldn’t get in a great sweat session, or even make it down to the hotel gym, so I did some crunches and pushups right in my hotel room. Some hotels even offer free in-room workout kits, like Hilton Garden Inn’s Stay Fit Kit (disclaimer- they’re one of clients at work so that’s why I know/recommend this one, I’m sure other hotels have similar offerings!)
- Get out and explore! If you are fortunate enough to have down-time, or can wake up a bit earlier to get in a morning run before your day’s activities begin, there is no better way than to see your destination city than by fleeted foot! Many hotels will have local maps, or pre-mapped running routes, that you can use to set your route so you don’t get lost. Mapmyrun.com is another great resource, you can even look at routes other users have uploaded in the area. I like to write the route in sharpie on my hand, or on a post-it stuck in my shorts.I did a post a while back about why I love to run when I’m traveling.
- Pack snacks from home: If you know you’ll be rushing to your gate without time to eat pre-flight, or have a long flight ahead of you, it’s okay to pack some snacks from home. Just make sure they’re easily portable and won’t go bad– like a hard apple vs. a soft banana! Granola bars, crackers, carrot sticks, and nuts are all great carry-on snacks, but you could also pack a PB&J sandwich just as easily!
- Choose healthier options at the airport: Chilis-To-Go. Wolfgang Puck. McDonalds. All these sit down or t0-go choices at the airport sound appetizing, but eating greasy or heavy food bef0re a flight will just make your energy levels dip, and the high sodium contents can leave you more even more dehydrated. Most major airports now have healthy kiosks like Jamba Juice, SaladWorks, or markets like Cibo where you can grab and go. When I got to the airport at 5:30am on Sunday morning, I ate a delicious serving of cooked oatmeal from Au Bon Pain and topped it with dried cranberries and chopped in a banana- SO much better than a sugary muffin or pastry. When I flew out on Monday night around dinner, I went to Salad Works and made a DIY salad with arugula, avocado, egg whites, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots and walnuts. Yum! Even Starbucks has to-go breakfast and lunch options that are a bit healthier than your average fare, if you chose right.
- Start with a healthy breakfast. I find starting my day with a healthy and filling breakfast sets a healthy tone for the rest of my day. This past weekend, I found myself short of time in the morning before I had to go to the trade show, and didn’t want to go to the hotel breakfast restaurant because it was sit-down. I seriously considered ordering room service (expense that!) to make it easier but all of the options were way overpriced and a bit much food. Since I was in a major city (Chicago), I went to the Walgreens on the same block as my hotel and grabbed a protein shake and a fresh fruit salad. I knew the protein would keep me full and energized as I stood on my feet all day, and I could drink it quickly (along with my morning coffee, of course) in the car on the way to the trade show.
- Be flexible! Again, be flexible! While traveling, you won’t have access to your healthy home-cooked meals and snacks as you normally would at home, but you also have tons of new options in your destination city. Go find out the local hot spots or the ‘must eat’ restaurants in the town, and hit them up! Don’t miss out on trying something new for sake of eating at a familiar healthy chain like Subway or Panera when you can try the acclaimed Italian restaurant or best pizzeria in XYZ city. As they say, ‘When in Rome…’
Well, that’s about all I’ve got. I hope you found some of these helpful next time you hit the road! Traveling can be hectic, but there are always healthier options and ways you can squeeze in some fitness if you make it a priority!
I’ll leave you with my easy lunch from today. Apologies for the crappy camera phone quality, I forgot my real camera at home.
- Whole wheat tortilla
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 1/2 can of black beans, mixed with Trader Joe’s frozen fire roasted veggies (peppers, onions)
- 1/4 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
Heat the black beans and fire roasted veggies in the microwave for a few minutes, until hot. Place beans/veggies on whole wheat tortilla, add chopped avocado, sprinkle with cheese, and enjoy!
What do you do to get in your exercise and still eat healthy while traveling? Do you find it hard to stick to your routine when on-the-go?